That is ridiculous. Just think about it a little bit.
Jesus said, For the poor always ye have with you (John 12:8). Selling off every scrap of every asset that the Vatican has would not eradicate poverty for even a month, much less forever. And what would happen?
Look at the artwork in the Sistine Chapel? Who would buy it? Who could buy it? How would somebody move those frescos?
And then all the manuscripts in the Vatican Library? Right now they are available for scholarly research. If they are sold...they become part of somebody's private collection and would be lost.
Perhaps they should sell St Peter's Square and put up condos.
Frankly, FRiend, you use the same argument that the "Apostle" of (so-called) "Social Justice" used when Mary Magdalene annointed the Lord's feet with Spikenard:
John 12:3-5 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
The argument "The Vatican should sell everything off and give it to the poor" is one I hear from left-wingers, not FReepers. Short sighted at best.
If literally every church building, work of art, manuscript, artifact, and hospital was sold...if every bishop, priest, and deacon was turned out on the street, stripped of their clothing and forced to dress in rags, while it would please a lot of people...it would do nothing to eradicate poverty.
The purpose of the Pope's statements is, whether you believe it or not, not to try to solve poverty. He knows better than either of us that this will never happen. The purpose is the same purpose that Jesus had when he taught on earth. The same purpose as His followers had...to include the quoted St John Chrysostom...along with his colleague St Basil the Great...and so on throughout history. Sadly, that spiritual message has been hijacked so often by the left, that it is immediately confused by most people.
I don’t disagree that there will always be poor people. And the reason why we will always have poverty is because there will always be people who are stupid, lazy, or both. There are people who are poor by circumstances - those people can be helped out of poverty. Then there are the much larger number of people who just won’t take the effort to get out of poverty. Those you could give huge amounts of money and they’ll piss it all away and be poor again in no time.
The was a short film highlighted on Oprah’s show several years ago that came out as a result of a director giving a homeless man $100K in a briefcase. His to keep.
Within six months, he’s blown through all of it and he’s back out on the streets. The result came as a huge shock to Oprah, who is one of those goofy liberals who think that we could get rid of poverty if we just give the poor enough of someone else’s money.
Look, we can all argue about “what do do with the poor?” but before anyone wants to claim some of my stuff, they have to admit there are people who are just too lazy to deserve it. Those people need to be forced to work, and if starvation is how we force them, so be it.
Still, I don’t like being lectured by pecksniffs, telling us that the pursuit of wealth is a “bad” thing. It’s bad enough to listen to this nonsense from left wing academics, but to hear it from a man in control of so much wealth? Yea, that’s really not a message I’m going to tolerate at all.
As for who would buy the artwork and the real estate? Anyone who wants to. There are people who buy rare Bibles - some for 10’s of millions of dollars. The idea that only the Vatican can own these things is, quite frankly, one of the absurdities that is peculiar to the Catholic Church. The one quote that really grates is this one:
ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good.
Um, yea, right. Let’s look at the wonderful life that results when we go to the polar opposite, such as communism, where there are no free markets and the state sets all prices, in supposed pursuit of “the common good.” How did that work out for the poor?
Then this little gem (found at another site quoting the Pontiff):
“In this sense, I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: ‘Not to share ones goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.”
Um, no, my goods are my goods. I worked for them. If someone wants some, they’re going to have to work for it. That’s what the Tenth Commandment says: Don’t try to bogart your neighbor’s stuff. Go get your own.
This sort of codswallop is why there’s a cliche’ known as “the Protestant work ethic” and there’s never been a cliche’ of a “Catholic work ethic.”